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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Welcome back! Now...Get to work!

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Due to a family funeral, I was unexpectedly away from work for an entire week. And after traversing all 600-plus miles of the I-20 death march on Saturday, followed by a day of relative quiet, rest and refrain on Sunday – culminating in a “Daddy, I’ve planned a special day for us! You took us out to lunch, and now we can watch a movie...Despicable Me! With popcorn! It’ll be our special day! And mommy too!” – I’d like to say that Monday was back to business as usual. Except the business that I was getting back to was anything but usual.


Instead of a nice, leisurely ease-into-the-morning, get up at 9 AM, turn on some music at a Dana appropriate morning volume, pull myself an Americano, etc. it was a confused and disoriented, “Huh? What?!” complete system shock when Lady Phone’s alarm went off all loud-and-proud and time-to-get-uppy at 6:45. I would describe my involuntary bolting out of bed as the human equivalent of a torpedo being unceremoniously ejected into the ocean. The cold, cold ocean. (Look, I know that many of you get up at 6:45 every day. And, bully for you! I did my early morning thing for 8 years in the golf business. During that time I discovered that I am not a morning person. I will never be a morning person. And I don't particularly like morning people.)


If you’ll recall from my trilogy of posts, I had been trying to get this new job; circling this ex-Special Forces – GB – prospective client who was not going quietly into the great install. (You can catch up by clicking this link if you feel you need a refresher or have somehow – gasp! – missed a post)

 Well, our exciting tale last left off where GB countered my ten page proposal by scouring the Internet for pricing and then requesting a *significant* discount. I responded with an e-mail explaining and summarizing the benefits of my proposal and my worth and offered a modest discount. So, while I was away, I traded a few more e-mails with the builder culminating reaching an agreement and getting the job! Yay!


So, part of the deal to us getting the job was that we could start work right in *immediately*. Meaning that I had to be at the job by 9, ready to begin a massive day of prewiring. Since the weather forecast called for temps in the range from 36 to 48 and I would be working in a concrete home, the upscale, suburban equivalent to an Igloo cooler where things are inexplicably even colder inside the home, I decided to pull out my Cherokee Brand XXL women’s thermal undergarment.

Yes. I said women’s.

A few years ago, we went skiing and since my winter wardrobe is not snow and ice friendly, we made a last minute stop at Target. When the men’s section left me wanting, I turned to the women’s section. The Big and Tall women’s section to be precise. And home to the Cherokee Brand. As oversized lady pants go, yeah, they’re pretty sweet. Roomy in the seat and hips and soft on the skin. However, with no convenient frontal access point – something I imagine is not typically required of the targeted Cherokee clientele – they do make for a bit of challenging jobsite urination. And if there is anything that you want while standing in the hellish confines of a construction toilet – pondering the drawings of massive genitalia, crude limericks and solicitations for decidedly non-construction related services – it is an additional, time-consuming challenge.


So, while the rest of you were out there enjoying a quiet, stress free, mail-less, bank-less, library-less day celebrating and living it up to the full on the Luther, I was out getting ready to work an uncharacteristically hard-hard day wearing lady undergarments. There would be no Internets. There would be no rolling around in my comfy leather office chair. There would be no magazine reading or mail opening. And there would be NO INTERNETS! This does not at all feel like the world of peace, tolerance, freedom and acceptance that the Luther is all about.


We make it to the job and I am woefully understaffed; one installer is out on a vacation, another has already been scheduled for a full day of service calls and a temp helper that I called in to help is unavailable. So, there are a grand total of 3 of us – or 2.5 of us if my staff’s approximation of my work skills is to be believed – to get a jumpstart on this 10,000 square foot, massivus prewire.


But I must say, prewire is where Custom Theater kicks the ass out of the job’s ass, and even though there were just three of us, one of the three was my prewire Jedi, Kenny. Ken seems to live for crawling through rafters, with thick, ropy coils of wire snaking behind him, as he slowly builds this giant trunkline of multi-colored cables. And even though we didn’t actually start pulling any wire until nearly 11 (following loading in multiple spools of wiring and wire holders and recording all the wiring foot markers and a thorough walk-thru with the builder marking every location in every room and a phone call to GB to clarify certain security and camera locations) we put a dent of dents in that house!  By 4:30, Ken and his helper pulled close to 2000 feet of audio control wire in 13 rooms and I personally pulled 735 feet of Monster Cable 16/2 speaker wire from keypad/volume controls to speaker locations in the same 13 rooms. Up and down and moving and relocating and fighting a 12 foot ladder the entire day. It's been a while -- a long while -- since I've been on a big prewire, and I think I'm equal parts pleased with A) the amount of work I got done; the old boy's still got it! and B) that I didn't sustain any massive injuries. Brashly climbing above the "Do NOT Climb" warning and then boldy standing on the "Do NOT Stand" part of the ladder, fighting wiring and using the back claw part of your hammer to hook over a rafter ice-hammer clinging to a glacier face style, there is always the potential for a mishap. And I'm not sure there is a graceful way to accidentally fall off the very top of a 12 foot ladder onto a concrete slab.

Also, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I was easily the hardest working guy on the job wearing lady britches.

Categories: January 2011, CTA

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1 Comment

Reply Dan
6:19 PM on January 21, 2011 
Two questions for you:

1. I've seen females much larger than you. How many X's does the Cherokee brand accommodate up to? (Suggestion to Cherokee brand. 'X' to the power of many (i.e. X squared, X cubed, etc. is probably better than XXXXXXXXXXXXXX...X

2. Did it ever cross your mind that if you needed emergency medical attention that someone may need to undress you and discover your 'secret' attire? (EMT #1) "I've almost got this guy undressed in order for us to hit him with the paddles. Wait! W!..T!.. F!!!??? What is this she-man wearing?! ( EMT #2) "Yeah! Check out her ladyphone! Let's scram!"